Thursday, 26 May 2011

6 Days.

Gosh 6 days.
Doesn't time fly, when you're having fun :-)

There's been some changes around here this past week.
I have worked out a "new" rhythm - it is very similar to the old one, except I've simplified it even more.  Each day is split into Morning/Afternoon and Evening.  And one or two activities are noted in each.  Thus keeping the Waldorf emphasis on learning through repetition and rhythm.

Not so Waldorf, is the decision to allow Rye to have computer time.  In particular, he is trialing  Reading Eggs  and loving it.   I have wrangled with this decision; I really like the Waldorf approach to learning, what has struck me though, is its the early years bit of Waldorf that I like.  Waldorf for older children becomes much more prescriptive and structured, and that I'm not so keen on.  I feel Rye will benefit from a combination and balance of child led/autonomous learning mixed with just a smidge of structure. 

He is a child, who presently is ruled by his desires; to run, jump, skip, shout, roll, screech and he needs a lot of time to expend some energy, frankly, I suspect all boys do, heck, probably all children regardless of gender, and I feel I need to honour that need.    Rye is also a child who along with all the physcial activity,  loves, what I call "table play".  Be it games, arts and carfts, modelling, worksheets, practising letters on the blackboard, he loves it, and he can concentrate on it for a remarkable length of time.  So I feel this is another need I should honour.  Rye is very close to learning to read,  and he adores trying to write the letters, and is always asking me to dot out letters and words for him to write over.  This bit is the child led/autonomonous area.  I have put limits on the amount of time he can access Reading Eggs,    I've realised too, that a family computer purchase is probably in my future.

He's also trialed  Purple Mash too.   Purple Mash is different software apps for computer art, colouring in, drawing, using shapes/objects to build/create things, ability to make up reports based on themes, produce new paper, even do simple recordings/animation.  I did feel this software was more aimed for 6yr old plus, and while Rye did love it, he only really used 2 apps.  One where he coloured in either a bus or a train, and another where he could build his own house.  I may re-look Purple Mash again when Rye is a bit older.
Here, he is building a house using Purple Mash.

So my Waldorf rhythm now includes 3 half hour sessions a week where Rye can access Reading Eggs, or a paint programme.  I've also included more handwork too.  The star weaver and also I'm going to show Rye how to use the french knitting kit (once I've figured it out myself).

Tweaking the Rhythm was inevitable.  Since the local HE group took off, we've been much more active socially, and it has taken a little while to feel out a rhythm that works for Rye, my minded children and myself.   And also balances the increased social activities with the need for some home time too.

I received a Daily Groove email today.  Quite often I confess to rolling my eyes, I guess it's the language really, "authentic self" language sounds so pompous and airy fairy to me....... but I put aside my prejudices and had a think and actually this made quite a bit of sense to me:

Like the parts of your body, your child functions well
when you pay attention to his or her signals and,
instead of resisting those signals, you do your best
to honor and respond to them. There's no blame; you
just deal with it.

Today, imagine you and your child are like one body

and notice how that perspective affects your
 I have been distracted the past few days, planning and preparing for the trip to the Forest of Dean for the Green Parent meet, feeling out of sorts, but not quite sure why, staying up far too late watching dvds etc, thus tired and short tempered at times during the day.  As such, Rye's and the mindies' behaviours have deteriorated a little - there has been a lot of attention seeking behaviour, a lot of ear splitting noise and increase in sulks and melt downs.  The above quote ain't far wrong.  I've been ignoring their signals and retreated a little into myself - as a result, the kids have done their best to get my attention, to pull me back...'cept their methods aren't particularly pleasant.

Today,has been better.  We're worked together as a team and as a unit and the day has been much more pleasant and harmonious.

You could say we have our mojo back :-)


Motherfunker said...

Hello there fellow unschooly mama. I found your blog on my wanderings in cyber and, and love it! I too have a blog, and have written for EOS online home Ed magazine, and some bits on My real name is Paula Cleary tho, not Motherfunker!

Sam said...

Rye sounds very like Charlie with the need to run and be in nature but also a love for sitting and doing too. Charlie enjoys reading eggs (though she can go weeks between asking to go on it) and having battled for the last year with my feeling on it, and often feeling judged for allowing her to explore reading and numbers etc, I am now at peace with the fact it is exactly what she needs and therefore perfectly acceptable - and still very much autonomous :). Sounds like we are at a similar stage on the home ed journey :) wish we were coming to the gp meet so we could chat!